Saturday, July 7, 2007

New Testament Mothers

I told you in our discussion last Tuesday that I would try to discern what the Word is telling us about New Testament Motherhood...motherhood on this side of Christ's resurrection...

So, I went on a foray for mothers in the New Testament. Although I have read it a million times, the following passage hit me like a ton of bricks.
John 19
But by the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

26So Jesus, seeing His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, said to His mother, [[a]Dear] woman, See, [here is] your son!

Now, I did find several verses that spoke of the intricacies of motherhood in the New Testament. But, I think the sentiment of motherhood is summed up right in this verse. It was the Jewish tradition that the eldest son would see to the welfare of his mother if she was a widow. In this scene, Jesus is hanging on the Cross, and his last earthly task to ensure his mothers' welfare. (He then fulfills the Scripture (the written Word) with His thirst, and He dies.)

So, what do I see? I see that Jesus is honoring his relationship with His mother. He is ensuring her protection. But, I see something else here. I see that He gave her protection over to the beloved disciple. Mary had a second son--James, but Jesus decided to entrust the care of his mother to the beloved disciple. I would like for you to recall that Paul said, "

1 Timothy 5:2
[Treat] older women like mothers [and] younger women like sisters, in all purity.

Motherhood , it seems to me, has gained a more universal role. It is extended out from just the intimacy of the birth family. Instead, we are responsible one to another. And as women, our role is to mother the Church of Christ.

Galatians 4
26But the Jerusalem above ([a]the Messianic kingdom of Christ) is free, and she is our mother.

27For it is written in the Scriptures, Rejoice, O barren woman, who has not given birth to children; break forth into a joyful shout, you who are not feeling birth pangs, for the desolate woman has many more children than she who has a husband.(A)

Motherhood is a role that becomes universally IMPORTANT! It is not relegated to just those who are actively raising the children they've given birth. Instead, it is a role the encompasses those of us who have never birthed a child, or those who have raised children to adulthood. I recalled a passage where Peter was rescued from prison by the Angel, he went to a church mother's home:

Acts 12
11Then Peter came to himself and said, Now I really know and am sure that the Lord has sent His angel and delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting [to do to me].

12When he, at a glance, became aware of this [[a]comprehending all the elements of the case], he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where a large number were assembled together and were praying.

This was so exciting to me because it seemed to me that much of the power in motherhood in the Old Testament came from the promise of the Son. In the New Testament it comes from the role of mothering itself and how mothering relates to the Son's church. It almost seems that the role of mothering has been fulfilled, its no longer a method to means, and the by-product is the job.

Instead, mothering has become the job itself. The importance is not the that a child exists, the importance is that the Church or Christ needs us to mother--period. birth child, adopted child, foster child, neighbors child, embryo, infant, toddler, child, tween, teen, adult. It does not matter who, they all belong to us collectively, as mothers, and we are needed to love, nuture, protect and teach them.

LORD, Thank you for blessing us as mothers.

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